Monday, September 10, 2007

Why is the Prime Minister trashing Canadian institutions while abroad?

Still wondering why his domestic political agenda is being pettily laid bare for all the world to see:
“As one Canadian political scientist I know likes to say, when we look at Australia, we suffer from ‘Senate envy,' ” Mr. Harper told Australian senators and members of Parliament, to their great amusement, in the opening lines of his speech this morning.

“In Canada, senators remain appointed, not elected. They don't have to retire until age 75, and may warm their seats for as long as 45 years. By the nature of the system, they're not accountable to voters.”

Australian senators, on the other hand, are elected – something Mr. Harper described as a minimum condition of 21st-century democracy.

“Australia's Senate shows how a reformed upper house can function in our parliamentary system,” he said, “And Canadians understand that our Senate, as it stands today, must either change, or, like the old upper houses of our provinces, vanish.”
Who's the political scientist? His Chief of Staff?

Ah yes, an elected Senate...the U.S. model remains ever omni-present on Mini Bush's mind...

And don't be doing that "Canadians understand" thing...all of a sudden Canadians are going to rise up and abolish the Senate? Hardly. And talk about a can of constitutional worms being opened up...